Latest Stories


Malaysia should dialogue with the Sultan


There’s no way the Sultan of Sulu, Jamalul Kiram, will heed President Noy’s appeal for him to order his men in Sabah to come home so  the standoff could be resolved peacefully.

“Why would the Sultan listen to the President who left him out in the peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)?” said a member of the Philippine intelligence community who claims he is close to Kiram.

The sultan continues to refuse Malaysia’s ultimatum for the recall of his men. The ultimatum expired yesterday (Friday).

An attack by the Malaysian police and military against the group headed by Crown Prince Agbimuddin Kiram after the deadline could  start a war against the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

MNLF chairman Nur Misuari, who is of   royal lineage, will order his followers to cross to Sabah and fight a guerrilla war.

The MNLF, composed mostly of Tausogs, waged a  decades-long war against the government until it signed a peace accord with the government during the time of President Ramos.

If MNLF guerrillas cross over to Sabah, they will be harbored by fellow Tausogs who live in the Malaysian state.

A third of the population in Sabah, according to a rough unofficial estimate, is Tausog.

The Tausogs and other Muslim tribes, like the Maguindanaoans and Maranaws, live in a feudal society where datus (village kings) rule.

The datus in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, in turn, defer to the Sulu sultan.


It would be good for Malaysia to dialogue with the sultan to prevent a guerrilla war like the one waged by the MNLF against the  government from the 1970s through the 1980s and early 1990s.

Malaysia could promise the Tausogs just about anything  to appease them.

At the outset of the talks with the Sulu sultanate, Kuala Lumpur could promise to increase the rent it pays the sultan for Sabah.

The fact that Malaysia pays rent, no matter how paltry, is evidence that the sultanate owns Sabah.


Ricardo “Dick” Penson, an independent senatorial candidate who’s not doing well in the surveys, is much more qualified than most of the frontrunners.

Penson is a multimillionaire businessman and  activist who is  against political dynasties.

He took to the hills during the martial law years but was captured and tortured by the military.

He escaped to the United States where he finished his masters in business management at the University of Cincinnati and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

After graduation, Penson worked in various American companies.

On his return to the country, he convinced some of his comrades in the New People’s Army (NPA) to come down from the hills and work for his firm.

Appointed deputy director general of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (Nica) during Cory Aquino’s time, Penson contributed to the decrease in the number of NPA rebels from 25,000 to 8,000.

He  is a partner of billionaire Ramon Ang in the construction of  an expressway linking  Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City to Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija and then to Cagayan Valley.

Penson’s marriage to actress Dina Bonnevie years ago ended in an annulment.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Elections , Elections 2013 , Malaysia , Metro , On Target , Politics , Ramon Tulfo , Ricardo “Dick” Penson , Sabah. Sultan of Sulu Jamalul Kiram

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Tagle: Christ’s resurrection a message of hope to faithful
  • Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  • Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  • Nepal calls off search for missing guides on Everest—official
  • Pope’s Easter Message ‘Urbi et Orbi’
  • Sports

  • Rain or Shine grabs No.4, sends Ginebra to 8th
  • Red-hot Alaska rips injury-depleted San Mig Coffee
  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Lifestyle

  • Angono petroglyphs in danger of disappearing
  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Marketplace